Tuesday, April 17, 2012

6th Anniversary!!

This post is a bit late...We had our 6th anniversary on April the 8th and it was such a joyous time I just had to share about it. I am so happy to be married to the Love of my life and best friend Jordan Daryl Watkins. We always have such fun times together and I am so blessed to be sharing my life with this wonderful man. We had a wonderful weekend that started out with a trip to the community market in town where we pick up some fresh goods and some delectable treats at a yummy bakery. Then after a run we headed over to the Craddock Terry Hotel, which is a neat hotel downtown Lynchburg that we have been wanting to stay at for awhile. We had a wonderful dinner and stay there.

I can't wait for many more years with you my Love!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Try something new for breakfast!

I have a great recipe you should try if your looking for something new to break your fast in the morning. It is so yummy and satisfying and I got it from my "Everyday Italian" Giada cookbook.

It was so good this morning you have to give it a try!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Homemade Granola

I have tried making homemade granola in the past and it did not turn out well. It was hard for me to tell if it was the recipe or operator error. None the less I didn't try it again until now! This time I am beyond pleased! I found the recipe for Maple Granola in a Martha Stewart magazine awhile back and I saved it for just a time like this when I have tons of free time to make homemade things like granola. Well for review this granola is the perfect amount of sweet, salty and crunch and I will be making it again. Next time I will be shaving the last 10 min. off the cooking time and adding in the raisins 5 min. before the end instead of 10 min. My granola was a touch on the burnt side, Jordan said he liked it that way but I say I would like a little less of that taste :).

Here is the recipe that inspired me to get out the old granola recipe; Ricotta Parfaits. It is a Giada recipe I saw on the food network recently. They turned out good, Jordan really liked them and has requested them since. As for me I was not as excited about them I think it may have been the ricotta and jam together? I found a way to make the parfait that I enjoyed much more.

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 generous tbsp strawberry preserves (i used smuckers low sugar strawberry preserves)
1/3 cup granola
1 tbsp slivered almonds

Mix together the Greek yogurt and preserves till combined. Sprinkle on the granola and almonds. If you like you can divide up the mixtures to make parfait layers.

I think using the preserves as opposed to the jam gives it a better taste and mixes in well. The Giada recipe called for layering the jam but I wasn't a fan of getting a chunk of jam in my mouth. To each his own. :)

Hope you enjoy these recipes. Hopefully soon I will be posting some pictures of our new place. In the picture of the parfaits you will get a small view into our living room from the dinning room. Happy Thursday to all.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Proud Wife

I want to share my congratulations to my husband on his recent graduation from Physician Assistant school. He had been in school ever since we have been together!!! So I'm pretty excited if you couldn't tell.
I have been so impressed with my husband all these years he has such huge desire to learn. He has always put forth his very best in all he sets out to do. His faithfulness to his studies and the excellence with which he completed his assignments spoke volumes to me of his character. I also must mention that he received an award for "Outstanding Clinical Performance." We had no idea he was receiving an award so it was pretty exciting indeed when his name was called. The words the program director had to say about him were so honoring and really showed his great character. He has worked so hard to get to this point and I am just so proud. I Love you so much Jordan and I am so happy to be continuing our life long adventure together.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Using Up Every Last Bit of That Can of Pumpkin

I don' t know about you but I have found myself throwing away the left over pumpkin puree that my recipe didn't call for. This time I was determined to use it all up. I made 3 different recipes from one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree!! I was pretty excited...just ask my husband.

Recipe #1:

Neely's Whoopie Pumpkin Pies (from the FoodNetwork)



  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then the buttermilk and the vanilla. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients in increments to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto parchment lined sheet trays, leaving a 2-inch space between each cookie. Put in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.

Beat together the cream cheese and butter, in a small bowl, until smooth. Slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar. Once smooth, add the pumpkin puree, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Beat until smooth and well mixed.

To assemble the cookie, spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling to the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

I would highly recommend putting these together just before serving as indicated. I however made them and left them at room temp. for about 3 hours. The cookie became too soft, but we had one the next day after it was refrigerated and it was way better!!

Recipe #2:

Pumpkin Pancakes

I got this recipe from a Krusteaz coupon, but I had bisquick at home so I just made the pancake recipe and added the brown sugar, spices, and pumpkin...it came out amazing!!!!


2 cups Krusteaz Buttermilk pancake mix
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Mix together and make the BEST pancakes you have ever had!!! I'm making these for Christmas morning this year for sure!

Also it suggests Maple Whipping Cream..yum I didn't have any heavy whipping cream at the time but I will next time:)

Maple Whipping Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp maple syrup
ground cinnamon

Recipe #3:

On this last one I didn't actually measure the pumpkin but it looked like a cup was left and they came out amazing!!!! I added some chocolate chips and I used dried cranberries instead, also I didn't have an orange so no zest (I wish I had cause I love orange zest in recipes).

Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies


1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease cookie sheets (I used parchment paper)

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into mixture until well blended. Cut the cranberries in half and stir into mixture along with the orange zest and walnuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

voilĂ !

I am very excited to show you my recent DIY project!!!
We were having dinner at my in-laws house a couple months ago just after they had replaced some furniture in their kitchen. As I arrived I spotted a beautiful table in their carport. I had seen this table for years now in their kitchen, but until now it never spoke to me. When I saw it sitting there all alone outside I quickly thought what a great project this will be. As it turns out Jordan's Mom told me that while he was in 4H he refinished this very table for a wood working project. I have always wanted to have a piece in our house with some character and pizazz and this was my ticket. Lucky for me they were giving it away.



If you know me you know I'm in love with this color. I love the shell on the upper ledge (you can see it in the before picture). The clear knobs are my favorite. The original table only had one knob and the hole for it was huge. So Jordan's dad filled it in with wood putty and drilled 2 holes. Then I used metallic spray paint to refinish the door hinges so they would match the knobs. This has been such a fun and rewarding project. It's so fun having a furniture piece with some history too. I love the Queen Anne legs in the front. Decorating the table took some real thought and I had left it blank for about a week before deciding. I was nervous about it being too cluttered, thankfully my friend Maddie helped me to perfect it.

Also, below are some of my recent thrifting finds

Love the coffee mugs, somehow my coffee seems to taste better in them :)

This table cloth is so fun, the design is cute and the fabric is really soft.

Sweet white bowl

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Obsession

Berries have been my obsession this summer. We have enjoyed berry picking twice this season so far. First we did some blackberry picking and today we picked some red raspberries....yum. It's so fun to pick them in their natural environment even if it does mean getting a little prick from the thorns every once in awhile. Growing up we had blackberry bushes all around our house. It was awesome all during the month of August as we got to pick our own berries, my favorite way to enjoy them was atop vanilla ice cream. Although ice cream is still one of the best ways to enjoy them I am broadening my options. When we picked our blackberries they were still a bit tart for eating plain. So I put them in a sauce pan, sprinkled on some sugar and added a couple tablespoons of water then cooked them till they were bubbling and changing color. I had some plain Greek yogurt in the fridge (for another recipe) and it seemed like it would work. I have to say this was a match made in heaven. The thick and creamy texture of the yogurt is complimented by the intense flavor of the blackberry sauce and I ate this pretty much every day for breakfast that week. I also made a blackberry cobbler which was tasty as well but it didn't compare to the Greek yogurt and blackberry sauce...just thinking of it is making my mouth water. Now I get to find yummy things to do with these raspberries!!!